Aboriginal Communities Engagement Program

This initiative within the NSW Landcare Program will increase opportunities to consciously develop stronger connections and partnerships between Landcare groups and Aboriginal Communities.

Aboriginal Communities Engagement Program

Aboriginal Action Plan 2021-22

The Working Together Aboriginal Action Plan 2021-22 has been developed under the guidance and endorsement of the Steering Committee who meets regularly to oversee the implementation of the Working Together Program.

The plan builds on the previous Aboriginal Action Plan 2020-21 and continues to incorporate actions and deliverables across five (5) key theme areas:

  • Recognition
  • Representation & Inclusion
  • Relationships & Collaboration
  • Awareness & Education
  • Resourcing

Key Features of the Working Together Aboriginal Action Plan 2021-22


  • Incorporating cultural protocols into Landcare activities
  • Program branding is used for promotion to create interest, start conversations, encourage collaboration and instill a sense of pride within Aboriginal and Landcare communities

Representation & Inclusion

  • Relevant information is distributed to Aboriginal contacts across NSW
  • Provide advice and support to Landcare NSW on increasing Aboriginal membership and representation at the State governance level

Relationships & Collaboration

  • NSW Landcare Program team members participate in ‘On Country’ Landcare activities
  • Consciously integrating the Aboriginal component into the mainstream NSWLP and that LLCs, RLCs are advocate of the Aboriginal Program

Awareness & Education

  • Educational materials and protocols reinforced
  • Incorporate Aboriginal perspectives into Landcare activities
  • Promote good news stories and models of best practice in Aboriginal engagement e.g. conferences, gatherings, awards
  • Facilitate the delivery of Aboriginal Cultural Awareness activities to the broader Landcare community


  • Investigate and identify potential sources of funding and resourcing to increase Aboriginal employment and involvement in Landcare activities, networks and projects
  • Sponsor a “Connecting to Country & Culture” program for Aboriginal youth (16-25 years) to support long-term engagement in Landcare ($32,000)
  • Provide a large grant (>$40,000) to up to 2 x Landcare Regions to support the delivery of Regional level Aboriginal engagement initiatives
  • Provide a bursary (>$5,000 each) to the remaining 10 x Landcare regions, via the RLC or other mechanism, to support Local level Aboriginal engagement activities in the region
  • Support Aboriginal involvement and attendance at the 2022 State LLS/Landcare Conference in Tweed Heads, 15-17 March 2022 ($10,000)

Aboriginal Protocols Guidelines

A set of Aboriginal Protocols Guidelines has also been developed to assist the Landcare community:

Aboriginal Protocols – Welcome to Country Acknowledgement of Country

Aboriginal Protocols – Tips & Facts

Aboriginal Protocols – Communication

Aboriginal Protocols – Working with Aboriginal People

“Working Together” Program Branding

We proudly acknowledge Jason Ridgeway – a proud Aboriginal artist from the Dunghutti Nation on the NSW Mid North Coast – for the the creation of the artwork we are now using for the “Working Together” logo and branding. Jason is a successful full-time artist who produces stunning artworks on various mediums for a broad range of customers and corporate clients, through both commissioned work and private sales. Jason’s work can be found on apparel, signage, murals, corporate branding and even surfboards as you can see in some of the images being shown. His passion is turning ideas and themes into artworks, creating artworks from his personal experiences and telling stories through his artworks. You can check out Jason’s work on his Blackboy Creations Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Working Together” Artwork & Story

Artwork by © Jason Ridgeway.

“The hand print depicts our connection to country. It give us a sense of belonging. There are meeting places depicted with the U shapes as people sitting in a gathering. The dots depict tracks and parts of our land, waterways and river systems. The landscape in the hand represents people watching over the land as a form of protection.

“Working as one we will achieve all goals set in place to enjoy a beautiful future and keep our connections strong. If we don’t have a connection to country then we don’t belong. Our land is precious – if we look after it, it will in return look after us. We as a people need to work together to help heal and look after changes to the land.”

“Working Together” Soft Launch 

A ‘Soft Launch’ of the “Working Together” program was conducted on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

The recording of the soft launch can be downloaded here.

A copy of the Launch Presentation can be downloaded here.

“You Can’t Ask That” Aboriginal Awareness & Protocols Webinar

On 25 November over 40 Landcarers, partners and community members participated in this free educational webinar, inspired and adapted from the very successful ABC television series.

The webinar was presented and facilitated by NSW Landcare’s Community Landcare Aboriginal Engagement Officer, Craig Aspinall, and NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust’s Senior Aboriginal Engagement Officer, Kaleana Reyland.

The format required participants to identify their six (6) most pressing questions from a set of 33 pre-prepared questions, with the highest tallied questions given priority for responses from Craig and Kaleana within the two-hour ‘webinar’ timeframe, which was actually more like live TV! Some light entertainment was also provided in the form of some ‘live Aboriginal music trivia‘ with participants required to ‘guess the song‘.

A recording of the webinar can be downloaded here. Please note that due to large file size, please allow up to 5 minutes for the recording to load on your device

A copy of the written responses for all 33 questions can be downloaded here.

DISCLAIMER: It is important to note that the responses, views and opinions expressed by Craig Aspinall and Kaleana Reyland are their own perspectives, and do not necessarily represent the views of other Aboriginal people.